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Adjustment of Status for Certain Nationals of Haiti [64 FR 25756] [FR 22-99]
FEDERAL REGISTER CITE:
64 FR 25756
DATE OF PUBLICATION:
May 12, 1999
BILLING CODE 4410-10
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
Immigration and Naturalization Service
8 CFR Parts 3, 212, 240, 245, 274a, and 299
[INS No. 1963-98; AG Order No. 2221-99]
Adjustment of Status for Certain Nationals of Haiti
Immigration and Naturalization Service, Justice, and Executive Office for Immigration Review, Justice.
Interim rule with request for comments.
This interim rule implements section 902 of the Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act of 1998 (HRIFA) by establishing
procedures for certain nationals of Haiti who have been residing in the United States to become lawful permanent residents of this country. This rule allows them to obtain lawful permanent resident status without applying for an immigrant visa at a United States consulate abroad, and waives many of the usual requirements for this benefit.
: This interim rule is effective June 11, 1999.
: Comments must be submitted on or before July 12,
Please submit written comments, original and two copies, to Richard A. Sloan, Director, Policy Directives and Instructions Branch, Immigration and Naturalization Service, 425 I Street NW, Room 5307, Washington, DC 20536. To ensure proper handling, please reference INS No. 1963-98 on your correspondence. Comments are available for public inspection at the above address by calling (202) 514-3048 to arrange for an appointment.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
For matters relating to the
Immigration and Naturalization Service--Suzy Nguyen, Adjudications Officer, Office of Adjudications, Immigration and Naturalization Service, 425 I Street NW, Room 3214, Washington, DC 20536, telephone (202) 514-5014; For matters relating to the Executive Office for Immigration Review--Margaret M. Philbin, General Counsel, Executive Office for Immigration Review, 5107 Leesburg Pike, Suite 2400, Falls Church, VA 22041, telephone (703) 305-0470.
On October 21, 1998, the President signed a Fiscal Year 1999 Omnibus Appropriations Act, Pub. L. 105-277 (112 Stat. 2681), into law. Division A, Title IX of that statute, the Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act of 1998 (HRIFA), contained a provision in section 902 which allows certain nationals of Haiti to adjust their status to that of lawful permanent resident. Many aspects of section 902 of HRIFA are similar to corresponding aspects of section 202 of the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American
Relief Act of 1997 (NACARA), enacted as title II of the District of Columbia Appropriations Act, 1998, Pub. L. 105-100 (111 Stat. 2160, 2193). In drafting both the supplementary information and the regulatory text contained in this implementing regulation, the Department of Justice (Department) has intentionally replicated much of the rule which implemented NACARA, taking into consideration the Department's experience in administering that statute. Wherever beneficial for purposes of clarity, the Departmen
t has endeavored to point out those aspects of HRIFA which differ from corresponding aspects of NACARA.
How Does Section 902 of HRIFA Affect Haitian Nationals?
Section 902 of HRIFA provides that the Attorney General shall adjust the status of certain Haitian nationals who are physically present in the United States to that of lawful permanent resident. In order to be eligible for benefits under HRIFA, an applicant must:
Be a national of Haiti who was present in the United States on December 31, 1995;
Have been physically present in the United States for a continuous period beginning not later than December 31, 1995, and ending not earlier than the date the application for adjustment is filed (not counting any absence or absences totaling 180 days or less in the aggregate);
Properly file an application for adjustment before April 1, 2000;
Be admissible to the United States under all provisions of section 212(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (the Act), other than those provisions specifically excepted by HRIFA; and
Fall within one of the five classes of persons described in section 902(b)(1) of HRIFA.
The five classes described in section 902(b)(1) are:
(1) Haitian nationals who filed for asylum before December 31, 1995;
(2) Haitian nationals who were paroled into the United States prior to December 31, 1995, after having been identified as having a credible fear of persecution, or paroled for emergent reasons or reasons deemed strictly in the public interest;
(3) Haitian national children who arrived in the United States without parents and have remained without parents in the United States since arrival;
(4) Haitian national children who became orphaned subsequent to arrival in the United States; and
(5) Haitian children who were abandoned by their parents or guardians prior to April 1, 1998, and have remained abandoned since such abandonment.
For the last three ((3)-(5)) of these classes, the applicant must have been a child at the time of his or her arrival in the United States, and on December 31, 1995, but not necessarily at the time of his or her adjustment of status. In addition, certain family members of HRIFA beneficiaries are also eligible for adjustment of status under HRIFA.